Special Hobby 1/48 Ar-96






Three aircraft


Scott Van Aken


Short run with vac canopy and resin parts



The Ar-96 performed much of the same function in Germany as did the T-6 in the United States. It was designed as an advanced trainer to ease the move from training aircraft to the much faster fighter planes of the time. Probably the biggest difference is that often the Ar-96 would be pursued by enemy aircraft, a situation never faced by US trainee pilots in the T-6.

In addition to training units, these planes were used as unit hacks and fast courier duties. The aircraft was not only built in Germany, but also in Czechoslovakia where production continued for a period of time after the war. In total nearly 2,400 were built.



If you have built any of the more recent short run kits, then this one will be no different from them. Two sprues hold the finely engraved plastic parts. The sprue attachment points are admirably small and so clean-up will not be that difficult. Of course there are large sprue attachment points in the large parts like the wings and fuselage that will have to be removed, but it should be a relatively easy task. The overall condition of the pieces is good with little flash.

Typically, there is a bag of resin parts that includes your cockpit parts, the wheel wells and the prop spinner. There is also a resin front engine section for the nose of the plane as this engine was an inline, air-cooled, inverted V-12. Some of the roll bar parts will have to be made from stretched sprue and the prop is a separate hub, spinner and blade affair that I really don't like in any kit. The only option is whether to add a machine gun or not as the plane was used for weapons training and later in the war it was needed for some self-defense.

Instructions are the usual exploded views with small 'information' drawings showing placement of some of the smaller parts, a nice addition. Markings are for three aircraft, all in RLM 70/71/65. One is a German trainer circa 1944 as shown on the box art. Next is a Hungarian version with the red, white and green tail stripes. These will have to be painted on as will the yellow fuselage band. Finally a Czech version in post-war markings with yellow undersides of the wing tips and a lower yellow fuselage band. The decals are well printed and matte. There is a swastika provided in the usual segments so the kit can be sold in squeamish countries.


Overall, it looks like a very nice kit and should be one you can build rather quickly. If you want to see what it looks like done, as well as get more background on the plane, here is a review of this kit done a few years back by Tom Cleaver.

Review kit courtesy of my kit collection.

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